We are back with the Reading Scholars Scheme 2017/18, and me, Charlotte Abraham. Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye at our final event to this years art and design cohort who have been able to experience student life at the University of Reading. The final event was a residential over three days, giving ArtLab and the Scholars a little more time to work together.
Over the two days we were in the studios, the students were able to take up a variety of activities. This included instructional artwork, which was a new concept for both scholar and university students. There were a wide range of materials used throughout the day including clay, wire, small pieces of laser cut plastic and cardboard. Each of these were simple materials, however the instructions followed allowed the students minds to widen, and create some interesting concepts and designs. Each of the individual activities that made up the instructional artwork created a piece, which the students put in a box and were able to take home for up-and-coming university interviews.
The other activity was the use of the darkroom to create photograms, and an outside area to produce cyanotypes. Both of these had a similar technique but a different environment, and the students quickly found which of these they preferred. The light sensitive paper in photograms reacted to normal light, whereas the chemicals painted onto paper for the cyanotypes reacted to UV light. I was amazed at how quickly the students were able to pick up the process and the careful timing of the chemicals used to stop and produce the photograms. Both the quality and quantity of the photograms and cyanotypes were incredible. I, along with the other student mentors on hand, were able to help with the development of the pieces, and to also ensure they didn’t fly away in the wind.
The activities allowed the students to fully grasp what our universities offer, and talking to them, they were able to understand what the course is like here, at the University of Reading. Overall, the Reading Scholars Scheme 201718 was amazing, with new opportunities at Tate Modern, London, to getting the creative juices flowing with instructional artwork. None of this would have happened for the Art and Design strand without ArtLab. Now let’s go plan for next year!
For a more detailed account of the final event with the Reading Scholars, head over to my blog. Here, you can see what we get up to with ArtLab, Reading Scholars, and in the Art portion of my university course.